4th Infantry Division
"The Ivy Division"
4th Aviation
Viet Nam 1966-197

4th Aviation - Where are we today?
By Timothy E. Wilkerson

In Viet Nam, we served as Commanders, staff, pilots, crew chiefs, door gunners, mechanics, cooks, air traffic controllers and in weapons and ammunition, fire and emergency, medical, supply, administration and other support activities.  We were privates, corporals, sergeants, warrant officers, and officers.  Some gave orders, and many took the orders handed down.  We worked days and nights and many times nonstop to keep the aircraft and all systems ready and working for the missions of support for the units on the ground who were facing our enemy and the threat of contact at any moment.  We supported our fellow Americans and held our heads high.

We were young and eager and almost fearless.  We did our jobs the best we could under some of the worst circumstances.  Yet, we endured and accomplished the tasks before us, and many died or were wounded in the effort.  We are fellow Americans, and we held our heads high.

When we left Viet Nam to come home, we were welcomed by the general public as “baby killers,” murderers, war mongers, and yet, we held our heads high.  We faced a nation divided by politics and politicians who used our wounds and those of us who died to elevate themselves in political positions, but we held our heads high.  We arrived home, and our families welcomed us and loved us for our service to our country, and we held our heads high.  We were and are Americans and served with honor, and we held our heads high.

Today, as then, we give back to a nation of freedom that has given us so much.  We love our country, and we work as firemen, police officers, bank presidents, doctors, airline pilots, lawyers, engineers, veterinarians, environmentalists and politicians.  Many of us still serve in the military.  We own businesses, both small and large. We are employed or employee many.  We work on the lines of assembly plants.  We are electricians, plumbers, carpenters, home builders, and remodelers.  We are teachers, professors, administrators, and janitors.  We are mechanics, appliance repairmen, taxi cab drivers, bus drivers, railroad engineers, conductors, and trackmen.  We serve in every job that is available, and we work hard and hold our heads high.  Some of us are homeless and broke, and others are wealthy.  We are Americans, one and all, and we hold our heads high.

As we send our children, grandchildren and our fellow Americans off to unpopular wars, we do support them and we will not forget them or turn our backs on them as was done to us.  We welcome them home with open arms and love them for the service they give to our country and they, too, will hold their heads high.

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Last updated April 16, 2012